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Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
by Scott F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 13:34:56
This has just the proper amount of old school and new school game mechanics to cover virtually any science fiction scenario. The races, background and 'mechs give this a flavor unique to itself, a cross between MechWarrior, Cyberpunk and Space Opera. Overall, well worth the purchase.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
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No Man's Land Paper Minis
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2012 14:32:52
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19163.

SSDC has published two sets of paper miniatures for use with Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century. Paper Miniatures Battlelords features races found in the core rulebook while Paper Miniatures No Man’s Land features races found in the No Man’s Land campaign setting. Both paper miniatures products are produced in the same fashion and are thus being reviewed under the same posting.

OVERALL

Both sets of paper miniatures look excellent and are perfect additions to your collection due to the uniqueness of the different races (try finding miniatures that look like that, it’s probably impossible). The only drawback is that they all look like their dressed for diplomacy or a stroll through the park instead of being outfitted for combat through their career as a battlelord. Although they perfectly represent the races of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century, they do a poor job of representing the military sci-fi theme of the system.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Both paper miniatures publications are of the highest quality, as is all SSDC products. The triangle format is an interesting style for paper miniatures, but has the advantage that you don’t need to purchase plastic bases or attempt to construct one out by folding and gluing/taping the paper.

Visual Appeal: 9 out of 10
Both sets of paper miniatures look fantastic. The races come through crisp and clear and the coloring is superb. The inclusion of male and female miniatures is a perfect addition to really show off the different characteristics of the race considering male versus female. This is a great visual representation of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century.

Desire to Use: 5 out of 10
Here’s where I find a big problem with both sets of paper miniatures. All of the miniatures are dressed in basic clothing. There is no armor, no weapons, and none of them look posed for action. While it’s a great representation of what the races look like, it’s a poor representation of what atmosphere the game system is designed to create. There’s a good chance that you’ll never find miniatures for the Battlelords’ races, so these miniatures may be necessary. But if you want your tabletop to look like a scene from what you picture in a Battlelords encounter, you’ll have to look elsewhere as these ones look like diplomats instead of battlelords.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Both sets of paper miniatures are a great addition to your Battlelords games, as long as you can overlook their attire. Being that the system’s races are so unique, it’s helpful to have a constant reminder of what your player characters look like.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
No Man's Land Paper Minis
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Battlelords Paper Minis
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2012 14:32:44
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19163.

SSDC has published two sets of paper miniatures for use with Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century. Paper Miniatures Battlelords features races found in the core rulebook while Paper Miniatures No Man’s Land features races found in the No Man’s Land campaign setting. Both paper miniatures products are produced in the same fashion and are thus being reviewed under the same posting.

OVERALL

Both sets of paper miniatures look excellent and are perfect additions to your collection due to the uniqueness of the different races (try finding miniatures that look like that, it’s probably impossible). The only drawback is that they all look like their dressed for diplomacy or a stroll through the park instead of being outfitted for combat through their career as a battlelord. Although they perfectly represent the races of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century, they do a poor job of representing the military sci-fi theme of the system.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Both paper miniatures publications are of the highest quality, as is all SSDC products. The triangle format is an interesting style for paper miniatures, but has the advantage that you don’t need to purchase plastic bases or attempt to construct one out by folding and gluing/taping the paper.

Visual Appeal: 9 out of 10
Both sets of paper miniatures look fantastic. The races come through crisp and clear and the coloring is superb. The inclusion of male and female miniatures is a perfect addition to really show off the different characteristics of the race considering male versus female. This is a great visual representation of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century.

Desire to Use: 5 out of 10
Here’s where I find a big problem with both sets of paper miniatures. All of the miniatures are dressed in basic clothing. There is no armor, no weapons, and none of them look posed for action. While it’s a great representation of what the races look like, it’s a poor representation of what atmosphere the game system is designed to create. There’s a good chance that you’ll never find miniatures for the Battlelords’ races, so these miniatures may be necessary. But if you want your tabletop to look like a scene from what you picture in a Battlelords encounter, you’ll have to look elsewhere as these ones look like diplomats instead of battlelords.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Both sets of paper miniatures are a great addition to your Battlelords games, as long as you can overlook their attire. Being that the system’s races are so unique, it’s helpful to have a constant reminder of what your player characters look like.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battlelords Paper Minis
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Silent Wars
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2012 16:32:17
Silent Wars is a complete sourcebook for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century detailing a rebellion that is occurring within the background throughout the galaxy. It is called silent because the rebellion is not active in an “in-your-face” means but rather is operating in the background of the galaxy, building steam, waxing and waning, and picking up the pieces from previous rebellion outbreaks. Silent Wars presents the Battle Master with a new aspect for creating a campaign. Instead of the obviously physical missions battlelords would typically follow, these missions could encompass espionage or infiltration. Essentially, Silent Wars takes Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century in a new direction.

OVERALL

Overall, I recommend Silent Wars if you plan on taking your Battlelords campaigns in directions away from just combat and other military aspects. The rebellion is about building strength and convincing the masses to join your cause, it is not necessarily a time to bombard your target and try to revolt. It is a game of espionage, infiltration, and persuasion. If this sounds enticing, you should definitely pick this up.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 5 out of 10
Silent Wars was published prior to the acquisition of the setting and system by SSDC and has not been revised. The publication quality is poor and if it weren’t for the stunning illustrations it would only garner 3 or 4 out of 10. The layout is extremely lackluster and the formatting is a little clunky at times. The writing is solid and the content is detailed, but the book is not visually appealing. In addition, the book is not formatted properly for printing as the pages do not reflect a difference between odd and even such as what you would see in a printed product or a product that is designed for printing from a standard computer. There is no table of contents and no index, but the PDF is fully bookmarked for easy navigation.

Mechanics: 7 out of 10
The only new mechanics in Silent Wars is the new race Zzzwhirr. Besides the rather lame name, they are an interesting race and fully described and detailed as with all Battlelords races. As they have direct ties with the rebels, and probably the rebellion, they become a new choice when running a campaign surrounding the rebellion. Otherwise, they make good NPC material for the Battle Master.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
Even though the quality is low, Silent Wars is a great sourcebook describing the rebellion it is dedicated to. It really touches on possibly ever aspect imaginable, or at least every aspect a Battle Master needs to properly incorporate it into a campaign. This includes a number of adventure frameworks and story hooks along with a list of agents that are part of the rebellion.

Overall: 7 out of 10
Silent Wars is a great sourcebook when considering its content. While it exhibits an extremely amateur design, the writing and content is as solid as all other Battlelords books. In fact, because it’s so particular in what it describes, it can be a very valuable sourcebook for any Battle Master looking to take some of the physical violence out of their game and incorporate a little subterfuge instead.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silent Wars
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Lock-N-Load: Reloaded
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/22/2012 14:52:33
Reloaded is a supplement to the Lock-N-Load series of sourcebooks providing additional weapons, armor, ammunition, and optional rules. It claims to contain the content that wasn’t squeezed into the first two books, although it feels more like SSDC just can’t get enough weapon and armor options. With that said, this book is pretty much all crunch, like 98% of it.

OVERALL

I don’t really see the need for another Lock-N-Load book, especially one that contains modern and archaic weapons. I understand the flavor of being to add these types of weapons to planets of lower technology, but there’s already a boat load of options to choose from. If you need more weapons, then here you go, you won’t be disappointed. If you have enough weapons, then just move along.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Reloaded utilizes the same formatting and layout as all other Battlelords books. However, this one is filled with charts and a total lack of the great illustrations typically found in a Battlelords book. It’s still a quality publication, but its visual appeal is very bland. The charts are super easy to read and there is no shortage of detail and description. Additionally, what makes it much easier to use, page references are located in the charts to let the reader know where to find the details for that item.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
Reloaded takes advantage of all the standard mechanics governing weapons, armor, and equipment. Additionally, there is a mechanic for each equipment piece to inform how it can alter the balance of the game. This mechanic is a rating of how much they affect the balance, letting Battle Masters know the residual effect of allowing these weapons to be used. Some of them are fairly overpowered, but that’s the point – to provide a wide array of equipment that can alter the game-play. Other than that, it’s a very standard book concerning mechanics.

Value Add: 6 out of 10
I don’t see a lot of value in adding Reloaded to your Battlelords library, unless you really want to add a bunch of new weapon, armor, and equipment options. I think they covered more than enough in the original two Lock-N-Load books and this one is unnecessary. But as I said, if you really want more, then there’s plenty more here.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Reloaded is good, and follows the efficient and effective format of other Battlelords products. There’s a lot of new choices for the battlelord who can’t seem to get enough, but for the most part you should already have plenty of options to choose from. The balancing options present the Battle Master with some new options that could make game-play quite interesting. That part alone could entice people to buy it, simply to experiment with the different ways they can enhance their game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lock-N-Load: Reloaded
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Engines of War
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2012 14:18:22
Engines of War is the vehicle sourcebook for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century adding military and non-military vehicles plus massive mecha-styled armor called ultra armor. Here you will find an assortment of vehicles for your battlelords to drive around in on the weekends, plus you’ll find the tanks necessary to blow your opponents away. And if that isn’t enough, there’s a list of special weapons designed for vehicles and ultra armor. Not only is this a vehicle sourcebook, but it contains all the mechanics necessary to govern those vehicles taking your adventures from action and adventure to all-out warfare! This is epic-level military sci-fi.

OVERALL

Engines of War is an awesome sourcebook and completely self-contained. With this one book, you get everything you need for vehicles and mecha-styled ultra armor, ready to be thrown into mass combat. The cover truly says it all considering the book’s potential, but don’t think it’s all weapons and tanks. The collection of civilian vehicles is a fun addition to the game allowing the players to add one more thing for their battlelords to spend money on.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
If I could, I would give this a rating of 25 out of 10. Every single vehicle and ultimate armor presented in Engines of War is illustrated, and illustrated very well. It’s a thing of beauty! Besides utilizing their properly established layout and formatting in all regards, there are so many awesome illustrations here that you may find yourself stopping regularly just to admire how cool the vehicles are. But I digress, in all regards, this book is perfectly put together and very easy to read. There is a great flow to the content and even the order in which the chapters are presented is of the highest quality.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
Engines of War is pretty much all mechanics and content to explain those mechanics. In addition, this isn’t a collection of mechanics that expand upon those already available, it is an entirely new collection of mechanics to govern a new aspect of a Battlelords game. With the incorporation of military vehicles and ultra armor, your adventures and campaigns can go from skirmish encounters to all-out warfare. The only complaint I have is that some of the mechanics are a bit much at times (such as the number of hit locations on a vehicle), but it truly follows the standards set forth by the Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century core mechanics.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
My take on Engines of War is that it carries one real purpose: to make truly epic games. If you want to keep your games at a skirmish level of action and adventure, then Engines of War has no value for you. However, that’s not what it’s designed for and if you consider it’s design, then it’s value is absolute. It takes all the concepts needed for adding military vehicles and ultra armor to Battlelords including governing mechanics and an awesome selection of vehicles, armor, and weapons to choose from.

Overall: 10 out of 10
If you want to add warfare into your military sci-fi adventures and campaigns, then I highly recommend Engines of War. You will find pretty much everything you need for running those warfare-styled games. If you don’t want to incorporate epic-level warfare, then you may not find much in Engines of War, although there are non-military vehicles included which can add a bit of fun for your players as they shop around for just the right vehicle. Considering only what it’s designed for, Engines of War is a definite must have.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Engines of War
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Beyond the Rift
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2012 14:17:51
Beyond the Rift is a new campaign setting for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century that can be utilized instead as a standard sourcebook. It extends the Battlelords system to the Zenax galaxy filled with new alien species, new weapons and armor for those species, and new opportunities for action and adventure. Battle Masters who wish to keep their games within the default setting can instead use the new alien species as additional character creation options for their players. To top off the value of this book are new hand-to-hand combat rules that can be incorporated into every adventure and campaign, regardless if the new galaxy is used.

OVERALL

It’s always exciting to pick-up a new game system and run a full campaign. But when you’re done, how do you run a second campaign without it being repetitious? Or, how do you run events that the players aren’t at least partially aware of what’s happening behind-the-scenes? I good answer to this is to move the campaign to a new setting, and that’s what Beyond the Rift helps you do. As-is, it can be used as a completely new setting. As an alternative, it can be used to present many new options for a new campaign within the previous setting. Beyond the Rift is a book that keeps subsequent campaigns from seeming mundane.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
As always, Beyond the Rift follows the same high standards of publication quality set forth by previous SSDC publications. They stick to their excellent layout and formatting with the standard styles of art that makes the other books look so great. The best illustrations are those of the new alien species so you know what they look like, even in armor.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
SSDC was an excellent job at making interesting and unique alien races. To make it even better, none of them look like humans. They all have their particular quirks and no two are truly alike. To coincide with all these new races, you get the full listing of everything a player would need to choose one of these species as a character. In addition, there are extensive, new rules for hand-to-hand combat to coincide with the prevalent martial arts of the various races. The only thing missing are mechanics concerning the space that is found beyond the rift. All of the descriptions are fluff-oriented and based on what’s going on with and between the different species. However, you don’t learn about the sizes of different planets, their physical appearance, distance between alien space, or things like that. However, a BM can still fill-in these details as they please.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
One thing that makes Beyond the Rift so valuable is that it’s primarily self-contained. Besides the core rules and major supplements, everything you need to add this new galaxy to your games is found within the book. Not only do you get all the standard mechanics for the new races, you also get all of their weapons, armor, combat mechanics, skills, and matrices. There is a lack of details concerning the setting as a whole, but you get a lot of valuable information that allows the BM to use the setting as they please. They simply fill in the rest using what data is contained within.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Beyond the Rift is a great campaign setting and sourcebook for those looking to add more options to their Battlelords games. You can give the players a change of pace by sending their characters to a new galaxy or simply offer them new races to choose from in an upcoming campaign. The book contains pretty much all the content you’ll need to incorporate all aspects of these new races along with providing the BM with loads of adventure seeds.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Rift
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Battle Master Pack
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2011 21:38:00
Battle Master Pack is an accessory filled with quick reference hand-outs for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century Battle Masters. Similar to a GMs Screen, this pack contains loads of tables useful for multiple game sessions. Unlike a GMs Screen, there are many pages of tables, as there are many tables throughout the various rulebooks and supplements.

Battle Master Pack contains a collection of the following tables: combat quick reference, medical quick reference, perception modifiers and examples, malfunction tables, quick reference overview, grid sheet for drawing maps, hex grid for stellar maps, and a NPC stat sheet. In addition, there are a couple pages of Battle Master tips concerning how to deal with mass incoming fire including quick damage tables.

OVERALL

Battle Master Pack is a great collection of tables from assorted rulebooks and supplements for quick and easy reference. Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century utilizes a lot of tables, a LOT of tables, and here is a collection of some of the most common. While many more are possible, at least this collects some of the most valuable.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
I’m on the fence a bit about the layout and formatting of the Battle Master Pack. There are lots of tables and they’re packed in tightly, but there is still a lot of white space and poor use of borders. Considering the purpose of this pack is to provide a group of quick reference sheets, the content should utilize as much of the space as possible without looking crowded. The tables are definitely not crowded, but I think they could have been laid out differently concerning the borders. I also feel there could have been more added considering how many tables are available. With that said, the tables that are provided are very easy to read, spaced well, and useful.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The only new mechanics here are the mass incoming fire ones, everything else is essentially being reprinted or reformatted. These mass incoming fire mechanics are excellent concerning the number of dice you could possibly be rolling with an automatic weapon. It is an interesting method of eliminating the time required to roll that many dice. It makes for quicker game-play and less tedious work.

Desire to Use: 7 out of 10
As is, Battle Master Pack is valuable for those wishing to consolidate the books they need on a regular basis. However, there is a lot of tables that could be added. While this may eliminate a lot of the frequent searching of books, I think Battle Masters will still have to do it considering the high amount of content that is missing but still frequently used. It makes a lot of the work of BMing quicker, but it needs to me more complete.

Overall: 8 out of 10
I recommend the Battle Master Pack for those looking to speed up their adventures and campaigns when using the contained tables. The mass incoming fire mechanics are a definite must for those using a lot of heavy fire. However, I don’t think it will completely eliminate the need to reference your core books from time to time.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Battle Master Pack
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Galactic Underground 3
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2011 21:22:14
Galactic Underground 3 follows the series of supplements, of the same name, providing even more options to players and Battle Masters. Unlike the first two, it does not contain new races but rather is a supplement focused on new options for all characters. In addition, there is a good amount of fluff to help better understand other aspects of the Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century including megacorporations, media, and how to “get around town” properly. In addition, it has a lot of new tables that can be used during character creation. Galactic Underground 3 is definitely a players companion.

OVERALL

Galactic Underground 3 is a pretty good addition to Battlelords. The Galactic Armed Forces are an interesting new option for game-play. The new matrices are good, although there are already many available, but what’s wrong with more options? This is one of those products that while one person may find the content to be excellent, another may find it to be useless. The content is good, it’s just very focused and not as broad as previous supplements outside of the new tables for character creation (which are definitely interesting). Recommended if you want even more options, especially for a different type of campaign model incorporating the Galactic Armed Forces.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
As stated several times, the entire series of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century follows the highest of publication quality, sticking to a superb format, layout, and presentation. There’s always great illustrations and each supplement actually utilizes the same format making them very familiar, easy to read, and even easier to use.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
Galactic Underground 3 is a mixture of fluff and mechanics, with certain sections focus on one or the other. The new I was just growing up and fortune tables and new matrices are great mechanics that follow along with those previous established. The new mechanics for joining the Galactic Armed Forces are the key to new mechanics, adding an interesting new option for players. As before, each mechanic is properly described and detailed.

Value Add: 6 out of 10
Unfortunately, I find Galactic Underground 3 to contain a lot of content that lacks value. Much of the content seems forced as though a third supplement was to be designed, but much of the good ideas had run out. The Galactic Armed Forces and matrix expansions are really the only value adding pieces in the supplement while the others might be better kept in a free download. If you want the unique matrices or considering using the Galactic Armed Forces in any way, then this supplement is definitely worth getting.

Overall: 8 out of 10
Galactic Underground 3 is a decent players supplement for Battlelords, but not really one that has an all-around amount of value. Much of the content is so focused that unless you’re specifically looking for what it contains, you probably won’t get much use out of it. However, it is a top-notch publication and each page has been filled with worthwhile content. You may not find yourself needing the new options, but they are there for those who are not fully satisfied with what was previously available.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Galactic Underground 3
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Galactic Underground 2
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2011 20:59:32
Galactic Underground 2 is the second sourcebook of its kind expanding upon the core mechanics of Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century with new playable races, additional matrices, source material and advanced rules. Unlike the first volume, this volume takes what I see as a more exotic take on new playable races with the inclusion of seven very unique races. While these races alone add excellent new options for players, they also add new conflicts for the Battle Master to incorporate into their campaign. In fact, an entire chapter is dedicated to explaining the views between the different races adding even more possible conflicts for the Battle Master. As a continuation of the Galactic Underground series, volume 2 is a great addition.

OVERALL

Galactic Underground 2 follows up the first Galactic Underground sourcebook in the best way. You are offered new playable races, new source material, new matrices, and another view of how the different races potentially interact (providing lots of new role-playing opportunities). A definite must have for Battlelords players and Battle Masters, unless all you want are the basics.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century series of products all exhibit the same publication layout and presentation. The good news is that the books all exhibit a very high-quality publication and continue that quality level throughout. Lots of illustrations are included and as always, placed in key locations adding value to the source material. These publications often use full-page illustrations to start certain sections that have always (so far at least) added to the visual appeal and understanding of the content. The big emphasis there is on the understanding of the content as these illustrations show you what the different races look like instead of simply describing them in words.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
There are two mechanics additions that really stand out in Galactic Underground 2. The first is the new alien races, primarily the energy-based Andromeni and the silicon-based Gemini. Not only do their backgrounds and role-playing opportunities stand-out, but they’re very different when it comes to sci-fi role-playing, especially the Andromeni. The possibilities presented with an energy-based species that actually lives by finding a fresh host can make some very interesting games. The second new mechanic addition that really stands out are the medals and commendations. These do not stand-out because characters can “show off” their awards, but rather they are an excellent way of rewarding great role-playing out outstanding feats during combat. This adds a whole new level of rewards besides experience points.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
A great value of the Galactic Underground series is that they have information for everyone. New playable races for players (with new matrices), new phentari source material, new adventure seeds for Battle Masters and medals and commendations that can be handed around. Galactic Underground 2 is another great addition to any Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century player’s library.

Overall: 10 out of 10
There’s little more to say about Galactic Underground 2 other than it has lots of value for its price. Unless you want just the basics, the amount of new material is designed for everyone to peruse, not just those playing in a particular setting. This Galactic Underground series is composed of some very valuable content and volume 2 will not let you down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Galactic Underground 2
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No Man's Land
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2011 21:29:53
No Man’s Land is a valuable campaign sourcebook for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century, fully detailing an entire sector of space. This sourcebook contains more than just maps and new planets. It details new races, groups, pirates, services, structures, planetary defenses, and of course sector maps and new planets. In addition to the obvious setting information, the new races offer more options and variety for player characters. What makes this book so valuable is the amount of source material covered throughout its pages. Each section contains an important piece of the sector including major groups to be encountered and full details of the different planets. If you’re going to enter this sector of space, you better have the right book to guide your way, and this is that book.

OVERALL

No Man’s Land is a perfect blend of usable source and character material for players and source material and mechanics for Battle Masters. This new sector is filled with all types of additions to the game ranging from simple new races to powerful groups that can bring huge forces to bear. I highly recommend this book to every Battlelords player.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
No Man’s Land follows the traditional Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century layout, presentation, and overall quality. I’m a fan of the flow these publications follow and I like the illustrations placed in key locations and even random locations. There’s very little else to be said because it’s quite high quality and has the same look and feel as all other Battlelords publications I’ve read to date. While this may seem like a strange comment, it’s quite easy to read source material when it’s presented in a format you’ve seen before, and appreciated.

Considering only illustrations, this book does a great job focusing on the fact that it’s presenting you with new sector material with the 4 subsectors. The illustrations show lots of large, capital ships, and space structures that mix well with the new race illustrations and those sprinkled throughout that depict bits and pieces of the groups located throughout the sector. Overall it’s an excellent combination of well-placed illustrations.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
No Man’s Land is filled with mechanics, and they are all excellent! Not only do they cover the entire gambit of possible uses from simply adding new races to creating long-term campaigns that span multiple subsectors. Everything is presented in such a simple and easy-to-use way that the mechanics are only enhanced by how easy they are to find and use. But don’t think this book is all crunch, there is plenty of fluff as well especially when it comes to describing many of the groups that can be encountered.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
This book is all value. From crunch to fluff, you can use it all in virtually every single adventure and campaign within the sector and even those in additional sectors. The best value, however, is its designed variety. There’s information for pretty much everything and virtually any Battlelords player.

Overall: 10 out of 10
This is a must have sourcebook for Battlelords players and a definite need for Battle Masters. It’s filled with excellent source material, crunch, and fluff. No Man’s Land sets a definite standard on how to present new sectors and the variety of material that can be included.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
No Man's Land
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Galactic Underground
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2011 21:47:57
Galactic Underground is the first in a series of sourcebooks for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century that presents the player (and Battle Master) with new options for character creation and during actual game-play. This includes new player races and a deeper look into the currently available races. This is, by far, a truly valuable sourcebook for players who are looking to create new, unique characters.

OVERALL

There’s very little more to say overall. If you’re a player looking for more options, Galactic Underground has lots of new options and is highly recommended. If you don’t care for new options, then you don’t really need it. However, there are some new player races to choose from and if you don’t pick this book up, you’ll never know who they are…

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century line always exhibits a great layout, presentation and ease of use. They continue integrating wonderful illustrations. Some of these are full-page and really catch the eye. Everything about Galactic Underground is so simple and yet high-quality. Another easy-to-read publication with loads of potential.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Galactic Underground is all about mechanics, and it covers quite the array of them. This includes new player races, background flavor, new skills, new matrix powers, and standard of living mechanics. It really covers the gambit of game-play from the first time you crack open a book to a long lasting campaign where you build your own abode. Other than some of the flavor descriptions for Eridani and Phentari, pretty much all the source material carries some form of in-game mechanics.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
Galactic Underground carries a wealth of value. This is due to the variety of source material and the amount of new options presented. Not only are these new options valuable, but they’re an integral part of the system while still remaining optional. This means that players and BMs can opt to use them or not. They seemingly do not cause balance issues within the system and thus allow players to choose what they want to use and if they actually want to use it.

Overall: 10 out of 10
There’s little to say other than this is a fantastic addition to Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century, as long as you’re interested in new options. If you just want to stick with the standard character options, then this book really isn’t necessary. This is a plus though because if one player uses it, another is not forced to use it. The premises of the Galactic Underground series of sourcebooks starts out on the right foot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Galactic Underground
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Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
by Brian F. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2011 09:17:44
Though I have to admit I’m more of a fantasy roleplayer than anything else these days, I used to dabble in futuristic worlds from time to time. That list included FASA‘s Battletech and Mechwarrior, Dream Pod 9‘s Heavy Gear, R. Talsorian Games‘ Cyberpunk 2020, GDW‘s Traveller, West End Games‘ Paranoia and Star Wars Roleplaying Game… and I’m sure I’m missing a few.

But it’s been a while since I’ve seriously looked at anything in science fiction. So Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century from writer Lawrence R. Sims and publisher SSDC Inc. was a bit of a shock to the system. That said, as I read through the rules it was a bit of a throwback to older, more complex systems and the setting was quite intriguing. It hit me a bit like the webcomic Schlock Mercenary meeting the backstory of Aliens or Blade Runner where the corporations run everything.

The Battlelords rulebook weighs in at 292 pages with a crisp, clean technical look and feel that reminded me of the Cyberpunk 2020 books. The artwork really sells the setting well for me, with art scattered every few pages throughout the book. With a product of this size, the amount of artwork was refreshing.

For the rest of this review, check out http://www.gameknightreviews.com/2011/04/book-review-battlel-
ords-of-the-twenty-third-century-rulebook-by-lawrence-r-sims-
-and-ssdc/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century
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Lock-N-Load: Weapons & Tactics
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2011 21:43:04
Weapons & Tactics is the second half of the Lock-n-Load sourcebook for Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century. This book contains, of course, weapons – lots and lots of weapons – along with some game-play tactics. How many weapons you ask? I’m afraid to count, but there are 42 categories and some of those have several sub-categories.

Before you think “this is too much”, know that this isn’t a redundant listing of weapons that are much too similar. The weapons list is not only quite vast but there is quite a large variance of weapons providing players with the ultimate list of choices (and exotic opportunities) for their characters from the day they are created to the day they are retired (as PCs). Overwhelming? Maybe a little. But within these pages lies an option for every possible character and player type.

OVERALL

I love the high number of options, even if it seems overwhelming. The reason I love the options is because they vary so much in effective range, damage, cost and flavor. Part of the value here is how the weapons are so different (even if subtly) from each other. The tactics, on the other hand, are a bit two-sided. For military sci-fi campaigns, they are a great addition, adding some cinematic flair and creating an environment that feels like actual warfare. However, if you are playing a space opera campaign, I would stay away from these as it could add too much time to combat and created a bloated encounter. But of course, they are optional…

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
While the overall presentation and illustrations look fantastic, I’m not a huge fan of the layout. When looking for a certain weapon, there are two sets of charts to check – weapon and ammo – and then you have to flip through the pages to find the descriptions of each. This activity is made faster by adding page references to both the charts and the description pages giving the reader the quick index as to what page to turn to. However, a grouping method of layout may be easier to use with each weapon group having its own section containing the weapons and ammo charts along with the descriptions. This could alleviate a large amount of page-turning and connect the description and mechanics better by placing them within the same section (and within a few pages of each other).

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
I don’t really consider the weapons selection to be mechanics additions, although the new types of options (or enhancement of the options) added to the weapons is a definite mechanic enhancement. This takes even more advantage of the Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century system. However, the biggest enhancement to the mechanics is the option advanced rules. While they are not necessary in some campaigns, they definitely add a great amount of flavor and really bring-out that military sci-fi aspect of the system. When reading through these advanced rules I could actually picture the action that you see in the movies.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
Any sourcebook that adds additional options to those that are already present is worth looking into. One that adds new mechanics (even if they’re optional) is a great addition to the system. Especially if those new mechanics make the game more exciting (pending you’re playing that type of campaign or adventure). In a game filled with military sci-fi potential, you can never have too many weapons to choose from. The value add is primarily for military sci-fi adventures and campaigns.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I know I already stated it, but if you’re running a military sci-fi adventure or campaign then Weapons & Tactics is a definite must have. If you’re running Battlelords as space opera, then it may not be necessary. I doubt you will ever need to search for another weapon again. And reprinting the already available weapons means you won’t have to search through two (if not more) books for these weapon options. One thing that needs to be added is that these charts and descriptions are easy to read and reference making actual usage of the book that much simpler. Most of your time will be spent trying to figure out which weapon you really want to buy!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lock-N-Load: Weapons & Tactics
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Lock-N-Load: Armor, Equipment, & Cybernetics
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2011 22:14:06
Lock-N-Load: Armor, Equipment & Cybernetics is a sourcebook packed with exactly what the title says: armor, equipment, and cybernetics. This sourcebook expands upon the options contained within the Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century core rulebook and includes the original lists so that BMs only need a single set of tables to reference. If you can’t find what you need to equip your battlelord (minus weapons from the second book), then you probably don’t need it.

OVERALL

Armor, Equipment & Cybernetics is a great sourcebook for players looking to add a little more flavor to their characters or those seeking more options. This is a great listing of items with a good amount of illustrations. There are several, comical illustrations designed as “advertisements” throughout the publication. While they add a bit of humor, the space could be better used with more illustrations of the listed equipment. Also, while it’s great to include the items from the core rulebook within the tables, it is not necessary to describe those items, again, within the content. This space could once again be better used for illustrations depicting what the items look like adding a higher visual appeal.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
Battlelords of the Twenty-Third Century utilizes a very simple and clean template throughout its publications. Couple this with a good layout and presentation makes for a high quality publication. The only, very minor issue is the use of illustration space. While the advertisements are fun, there are almost too many and they waste valuable space.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Armor, Equipment & Cybernetics is filled with mechanics considering each item is constructed with multiple mechanics. What the sourcebook does is takes those mechanics and blends them in multiple ways to bring about a huge listing of items for the players and Battle Masters to choose from. As I said before, if you need it and it’s not in here (minus weapons), I’d be surprised.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
I’m a big fan of giving players more options. It allows them to create more unique characters and have those characters truly stand-out from the any of the NPCs. Some may say it’s too much, but if there’s anything you don’t need, simply ignore it. The only thing that detracts from the value is not knowing what the item looks like. Otherwise, the more the merrier!

Overall: 9 out of 10
Any player looking for more choices would be wise to pick up Armor, Equipment & Cybernetics. I’m not ecstatic about the printed cost but the amount of content is quite vast, and purchasing the PDF completely defeats that concern. I can only imagine what the weapons list looks like in the other book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lock-N-Load: Armor, Equipment, & Cybernetics
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